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Ilya Serov

“(Ilya) really is a talented trumpeter and a great singer. This guy has got the goods. Ilya Serov- remember that name.”—Dave Koz

Russian-born Ilya Serov is a young jazz musician with an old soul. Classically trained at the prestigious St. Petersburg Conservatory, trumpet player and vocalist Serov decided to follow his love of jazz, cultivated as a teenager in the Russian city of Saratov, by pursuing his dreams in the U.S. He now is building a following among fans and seasoned players alike as one of the scene’s budding new talents.

Serov’s new album, Back in Time, to be released later this year, is an homage to the Big Band era and features classic tunes that showcase both his musical chops and vocal interpretive skills. The first single, “Swing 42,” featuring a duet with Grammy-winner and Oscar-nominated pianist Roger Kellaway, is a new take on the Django Reinhardt tune. “Tangerine,” the second single, is a collaboration with Grammy-winning percussionist Poncho Sanchez. “C’est Si Bon,” the third single, is a reimagining of the French popular song and has background vocals by The Swing Kittens and piano work by Kellaway. “Old Devil Moon” is highlighted by a solo from Eric Marienthal, Grammy- winning sax player. The album is loaded with other classics that Serov has lovingly interpreted.

“(Ilya) is a great, great trumpet player and I love his voice,” Sanchez said. “Ilya has a great thing here because it’s commercial enough for the mainstream to enjoy and like but it’s hip enough for the jazz folks to like too because he’s a great trumpet player. He can sing the tunes and play them. That’s the edge he’s got.”

“Sinatra’s recordings fascinated me, and Chet Baker’s role in jazz as a player and a singer inspired me to explore a singing career in addition to my formal education as a trumpeter,” said Serov. “I found new angles, new tones, new colors and new messages in the songs that I’ve been playing for many years as a trumpeter.”

Serov discovered the trumpet at age seven while growing up in the Russian city of Saratov. His mother was an ardent classical music aficionado and he initially studied classical music. After an intense, five-year program at a demanding music academy, Serov won a rare and coveted scholarship to attend the St. Petersburg Conservatory of Music (St. Petersburg, Russia). His talent as a classical trumpet player led to performances with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, St. Petersburg State Symphony and the St. Petersburg State Opera Theater.

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